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The Husky Deli & Ice Cream and the Miller Family have been a
vital part of the West Seattle Community for nearly a Century.
From the founder Herman Miller to the current owner and
operator Jack Miller, their family has lived, breathed, and served
West Seattle since 1932. Here is a short, summarized history as told

by Jack Miller about Husky deli:

Jack's Grandfather Herman was from Peru, Indiana and was one of
three brothers and one sister. With his two brothers Herman ran a
cattle stud breeding operation, shipping prize stud cattle around the
American Midwest region and into South America.

In late 1923 the farm ceased operation and Herman left Indiana
with his family to go to Washington State to set up a cattle breeding
operation in the Yakima area, near the town of White Bluffs, WA.
There he purchased a ranch and worked raising cattle for a couple
of years. He sold the ranch in late 1925/early 1926, moved his family
to Seattle and took up a job with Kelvinator Brand Refrigerators
company selling commercial refrigerators in the Seattle area.

During this time Herman was looking for a spot to call his own. He
had worked with a business in West Seattle on California Avenue
known as Edgewood Farm Store (which is now where the Arts
West Store is located. In 1933 the Edgewood Farm store could no
longer make the payments on the refrigeration equipment they had
purchased through Herman and had temporarily closed. So,
Herman bought out the contract and took possession of the store.
This was during the time when people went shopping every day.
There were at least 5 other grocery stores within the same block
including Safeway and A&P (Atlantic Pacific Tea Company).

When Herman bought this property in 1933, it was during tough
times and things did not look very promising for Herman's new
venture until he saw an advertisement for a program run through
the Seattle Public Schools. This program was to make little Ice
cream Cones for the children's lunches. After investing in a second-
hand ice cream maker and learning the art of making ice cream
quickly, Herman began to make small cones which he called
"Huskies”. Jack describes them "kind of like a little “nutty-
buddies" made of vanilla ice cream, dipped in chocolate, and rolled
in nuts on top of a cone. The popularity of the little Huskies grew
allowing Herman to add in a new ice cream machine and 15 flavors
in 1934 along with a soda fountain that also served hamburgers,
strawberry sundaes and banana splits as well as the little Huskies .

In 1937, after seeing the success that his Ice Cream made through
the Seattle Schools Program, Herman decided to change the name of
the store and ice cream. So, as was popular at that time, he held a
contest to pick a name for the store he was building up, to make it
more his own. Herman was always one to hear what the community
had to say, hence the wish to have the West Seattle community input
ideas. After reviewing the names entered Herman decided he did not
like anything that came out of the draw, so he decided to just stick
with "Husky", which we think is what he wanted to do anyway!!
Jack commented. From there, Herman trade marked as many
"Husky" things as he could,” said Jack. At this point he also decided
on the established iconic purple and gold coloring.

During WWII Herman and his daughter Alyce worked the Husky
store while Herman’s sons John, Hugh and Bob served in the war.
They would hand out War Coupons and make the business work as
best they could despite the hard times during the war.  When
Herman’s three sons returned from the war, they came back with a
vision and that vision was to turn Husky into a gourmet deli,
alongside the ice cream. Over the next few years, they removed the
soda fountain, and by 1950 added in the meats, cheeses, and
imported gourmet food items along with the famous ice cream sold
by the cone, hand-packed pints and quarts and take-home half
gallon containers.

In 1968, with Herman retired along with Bob and Hugh who had
moved on to endeavors of their own, John could see that for the
Husky to continue, changes and expansion were needed. So, along
with Alyce he worked on the plan to move a few store fronts north to
the much larger space that was the former Rosco Drug Store. By October
1969 the new space was ready, and the store was able to be moved
from the old site to the new site in just 4 days. The gourmet deli
theme was expanded upon to carry a broad array of imported foods
and wines along with deli meats and cheeses. And of course, the
famous ice cream. Ever ready to expand the choices, John also
started the catering division of the Husky for small parties all the
way to weddings and other large events featuring cold and hot foods
as well as beverages. Check out our prices for your next event!

Husky Deli's core vision has not changed since then and has been
molded through 3 generations of Miller owners into what you see
today. And plans don't stop there as the 4th and 5th generation
owners are already in the wings to keep providing for the West
Seattle community and surrounding area.

People have often asked why Husky Deli is something that the whole
family have been a part of. Some family members will say "well, we
had to", however Husky Deli is what we are, it keeps our family
close, it’s something every member in the family has proudly been a
part of, worked, molded, and influenced in their own way and from
this comes what you see today. It’s a place where we can go and see
family members, or even meet our friends. The kids who work there
come in on their days off because they want to hang out there. And
who would not want to spend your days with your family and your
friends, it’s like a party every day and we always get to meet new
people to the area, make new friendships and in some cases make
the family bigger by finding the "gal" or "guy" of their dreams.
West Seattle has also given so much to this family, it has schooled
our children through the public and private schooling systems, its
given us homes and new friends. It’s such a great place to live. It is
not like anywhere else in the City of Seattle, it is unique. We don't
have huge malls here; we have The Junction as the main shopping
district, along with other smaller and equally wonderful shopping
areas. The Junction is where you go. You have amazing businesses
all around here, all unique in their own way, it is truly a special
place to live.

People identify with West Seattle because people are
proud of this distinct district of the City of Seattle. They want to
live here for the community and family-oriented feeling that flows
through The Junction and West Seattle. As the Miller Family, with
the privilege of owning the Husky Deli, we are glad to be a part of it
and hope to continue for a long time to come. Thank you for your
continued patronage and support!

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